Beth Werlin, Deputy Legal Director for the American Immigration Council, discusses the recent...
Stephen K. Fischel
Stephen K. Fischel commenced his government career in January 1974 with the Foreign Operations Division of the Passport Office, U.S. Department of State. He then transferred in 1975 to the Advisory Opinions Division in the Visa Office, also, of the Bureau of Consular Affairs at State.
Upon assuming the deputy division chief 's position in 1981, he entered the immigration community as a speaker and representative of the Visa Office. As Chief of the Legislation and Regulations Division in the mid 1980s, Mr. Fischel assumed responsibility for legislative policy for the Visa Office.
In 1997, he became the Director of the Office of Legislation, Regulations, and Advisory Assistance. In 1999, with the absorption of USIA, he received the Waiver Review Division under his responsibility. Over the following several years, he introduced technology (online status checks, online applications, etc.) into the process. Providing the division with more human resources and specifically designed case file control system, backlogs were eliminated as processing times were greatly reduced.
In 2001, the Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs asked Mr. Fischel to participate on the President's Bilateral Migration Talks with Mexico. He provided many options to address the "regularization" of undocumented Mexicans, crafted a framework for a bilateral Temporary Worker Program, and designed significant reform to the H-2B program. He continued involvement in this area as State's representative on the President's revised Temporary Worker Program until retirement.
Over his thirty-one-and-a-half year career, Mr. Fischel has received many Superior Honor Awards for his performance, including the Secretary of State's Award upon retirement. He was rewarded for his performance for creating facilitative visa processing for the Atlanta Olympics with the Hammer Award.
Mr. Fischel is a recognized speaker at domestic and international fora. He speaks often before the immigration bar (domestic and international), human resource groups, student associations, chambers of commerce and other business entities, and other organizations seeking insight into the immigration process. He has worked closely with the Congress and immigration think tanks on many legislative matters.
After his retirement, he continued his professional activities in the immigration community by becoming partner with Fischel, Mohar, and Fanning Law Group and a Fellow with the Migration Policy Institute.